Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

Free Articles & Papers

Workshops; Strategic Thinking; Public Presentations

This page is constantly updated to enable you to gain access to full articles and abstracts of various strategy papers, Journal articles, and Public Presentations on the topics of Strategic Planning, Ethics, Human Values, Innovation, Strategic Foresight, Marketing and sustainability.  Feel free to drop by and access what you'd like. 

The slides from Marcus Barber's Strategic Planning Session - Melbourne 2008 is available for download here - its is recommended that you use this in conjunction with both the workbook collected on the day and the Tip Sheets emailed to you.  You will need to use the password sent to you to open this file.

Maree Conway's presentation can be downloaded here - this is the full presentation that focuses on what to do to get your department to work at cascading the Strategic Plan thoughout the organisation - much of the data in this presentation was not covered on the day

These Tip Sheets help tie together all of the content covered in the workshop - 'Assumptions & Expectations'; 'Environmental Scanning'; and 'Guiding the Board'

Remember that we can provide training, presentations, key note speaking & other strategic options for your business designed to suit your needs.

Most of the links to Public Presentations are now active - enjoy the read and we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have or hear your feedback

What the Corporate Sector Can Learn about Governance from NGOs

This paper looks at the challenge of 'Governance' and the need to ensure that your stated intentions within your Strategic Plan are held to Accountability Measures through a Governance framework and effective Board oversight


Risk Management for Boards

How do you ensure that Risk Management is a conscious choice for Board members?  This paper provides insights you need


Overcoming Strategic Blindspots and Shortness of Vision

This paper, orginally published in Australia's Innovation magazine, Fast Thinking, looks at how organisations can avoid being blindsided by events they either couldn't see or failed to identify


Mission Statement Madness - why your Mission Statement could be doing you more harm than good

Taken from the book 'The Money Tree and How to Grow One - Creating Success in Your Business' this chapter looks at the impact of Mission or Vision Statements and why they can sometimes do more harm than good


Ethics & Strategic Planning

The issue of including the concept of 'ethics' into Strategic Plans is new for most companies.  Although talk about Corporate Social Responsibility and Values is certainly greater than in the past, the specific application of addressing ethical issues within your Strategic Planning process is yet to be widely addressed.  This short paper suggests how and why you can include Ethics in your Strategic Planning

Journals; Press & Magazines

Brisbane Courier Mail:  'Discipline, routine keys to working from home' by Sandra Killen looks at the types of actions required to make ;work at home' and 'work from home' a success and quotes Marcus Barber's presentation to the RCSA Workforce Symposium in Canberra (link)

The Age:  'The World Tomorrow' was a Jan 31st 2008 article by Leon Gettler looking at how our world might look in the future.  Strategic futurist Marcus Barber is first to respond to the blog (link)

Sydney Morning Herald: 'Technology and Teenagers' was a June 1st 2006 piece by Roulla Yiacoumi looking at the differences in the ways generations approach communicating with each other.  Marcus Barber offers his thoughts as to the true tool of choice for teens and why it is so (link)


Journal of Future Studies: 'Wildcards - Signals from a Future near you'  (Marcus Barber - full article) and 'A Drop in the Ocean for Foresight Practitioners' (Marcus Barber - full article)

Journal of Cleaner Production: 'Increasing the rate of sustainable change: a call for the redefination and concept of the model for implementation'  (Marcus Barber, co authored with E Goncz, U Skirke & H Kleizen) (Abstract)

Futures Research Quarterly'An Hypothesis of Value Systems as Foresight Frameworks' (Marcus Barber - Full Paper)

Fast Thinking Magazine:
'How to Spot Innovation'  (Marcus Barber - Full Article)  Summer 05/06 edition

'Identifying & Overcoming Barriers to Organisational Innovation' (Marcus Barber - Full Article)  Spring 06 edition

'Funnel Vision & Missed Opportunities(Marcus Barber - Full Article)  Summer 07 edition

'Innovation in Employee Engagement'  (Marcus Barber - Full Article)  Winter 07 edition

'How to Catch a Stealth Bomber'  (Marcus Barber - Full Article)  Spring 07 edition

'Driving Away Recession' (Marcus Barber - Full Article) due for publication Summer 08 edition

Conference Presentations by Marcus Barber

'Committing Universities to Sustainable Development'  (UNESCO - Austria, 2005) Full Powerpoint  The paper was published in conference proceedings was listed under the abstract 'Sustainability - Why Bother?' by M Barber  Full Paper available

The Future of Education Conference (Swinburne University - Adelaide 2003) (Abstract of Powerpoint)

12th International Conference on Thinking (ICOT - Melbourne 2005) (Full Powerpoint)

TiE Innovation Program (Australian Innovation Festival - Melbourne 2004) (Abstract of Powerpoint)

Dimensions 2006 Sales & Marketing Industry Conference (The following PDF files are available by emailing your request)

  • 'Is your approach to Branding poisoning your business?' and
  • 'Killing Trends: The Graceful Art of Innovation'

AusForesight 2006 (Professional futurists conference) - 'Exploring the Future through Scenarios' and 'Which Scenario Approach is Right for You?'

AusForesight 2007 (Professional futurists conference) -  'From foresight foreplay to corporate consummation' a presentation made to the conference by Marcus Barber and Steve Tighe.  You can request a copy of this presentation here

Other Writings & Media Exposure

Here you'll find assorted writings on futures related topics, miscellaneous articles not found elsewhere and snippets from views published in newspapers, online websites and work with the National Geographic Channel TV program 'Future Matters'. 


'The Money Tree and How to Grow One - Creating Success in Your Business' - Geared towards business owners and managers of business divisions, each chapter is a specific area of focus, from 'managing a sales team' to 'effective marketing' and 'The 3 E's of Business' to case study examples and more.  Originally published in 2000 by TBRB, it was updated in 2006 and is now available in CD format - contact us directly to purchase a copy.

'Killing Trends: The Graceful Art of Innovation'.   Does your business understand the difference between 'creativity' and 'Innovation'?  Does it know exactly how to 'do' innovation and where specifically it should target its efforts?  Does it understand how to establish, nurture, protect and leverage the efforts of a focused innovation capability?  This incisive book lays it all on the table and along the way, shows that the 'innovation industry' is kidding itself when it thinks it encourages innovation because by and large efforts at innovation are poorly targeted and lack clear criteria for what is and isn't innovative outcomes, as well as guiding you through a specific and well defined Innovation process. Due to be completed in August you can pre-order your copy by contacting us directly 

'Death and Anti-Death, Volume 5 - Thirty Years After Loren Eiseley' (1907 - 1977)'.  Edited by Charles Tandy PhD, published by Ria University Press 2008, this is anthology five in the series and I have written the first chapter titled: 'Asking the unaskable question - do people have a right NOT to die?'.  This chapter explores the use of advanced technology to keep people alive and asks whether, given the costs of those technologies, any one individual should be able to use wealth to extend their own life at a time of extreme life disparity across the world.  Available at Amazon here


774 ABC Melbourne

Ideas Pieces
Ideas Pieces are designed to create discussion and thinking on a particular area through suggesting alternative and additional approaches to existing challenges. The first major piece of work in this format was 'A Blueprint to Advance Australia Collectively' written in 1999 and 2000. Each chapter from that work will be made available soon and some are available via the links below...

Ideas Piece - The end of Speed related Accidents  What would you say if someone suggested that speeding fines actually encouraged speeding?  Society already has the technological know how to solve the majority of speed related accidents in this country.  What is preventing our success is our social approaches to traffic management and the motorvehicle.  This ideas piece offers some suggestions as to how we might dramatically reduce speed related vehicle accidents and the cost of human lives, family pain and financial resources used to deal with the challenge.

Ideas Piece - A Potential Answer to the Health System Crisis   Why do we find it so hard to make the Public Health System and Private Health System work together?  Is it because there are so many vested interests in keeping us sick and unhealthy?  The ideas in this piece could shake up a few 'sacred cows' in the health sector!

Ideas Piece - Making Cigarette Packet Warnings Work  'Your Breath Stinks!'  'Hey did you know your gums were bleeding?'  You can't solve a short term gain using a long term message.  If cigarette packet warnings are to have any long term impact they need to target short term pain.

Ideas Piece - The Australian Presidential Raffle  The Republican movement got it all wrong.  Rather than borrow some model from overseas, we need to select our President using an Australian Icon - the good old raffle!

Ideas Piece - Accurate Product Labelling  If we are serious about protecting Australian jobs and in particular the farming community in this country, it's time that product labelling accurately reflected where the content came from and where the product was manufactured.  The Australian consumer deserves the right to choose to buy products based on their geographical origin and to do so, we need accurate product labelling 

Ideas Piece - Privatising Telstra by Demutualising  The idea of selling T3 shares in Telstra is misleading - we already own it so why are we being asked to 'buy it' again.  A much fairer idea is to GIVE the shares to every Australian based on their years as an Australian Taxpayer.  Then if they choose to keep or sell the shares, that is their choice

Ideas Piece - Advertising & Australia's Culture  Why do advertisers insist on using commericals from overseas?  Surely if these companies want us to spend our Australian dollars buying their products, the least they could do is use Australian made TV commericals?

Essay - A metaphorical look at the 20th Century and cultural approaches to sustainability and protection of the planet was pursued in this piece, orginally submitted to my Master's program.  The piece jumps forward to the 21st Century where a panel of eminent entities were discussing the history of the planet back in the 20th Century.  Looking Back at the 20th Century - a view from the future

Essay - Whilst the current water crisis is 'news' to many people, others have been warning about the challenge for a significant period of time.  In this piece put together in 2003, I drew on a vast array of leading and aware thinking from around the globe that looked at the challenge of water.  In assessing that information, two key ideas emerged - a singular currency unit called the 'Global' (the equivalent of one litre of fresh water) and the Global Currency Map (GCM) - a way to look at the different approaches and strategies a society will likely apply depending on their wealth and available water resources.  A Drop in the Ocean for Foresight Practitioners'. This file is available in PDF format upon request - email here

Australia 2020 Futurists Summit - A group of Australia's best and brightest futurists gathered in Melbourne on the 2nd of March to provide a futurists' view of Australia in 2020 as an input to the Prime Minister Rudd's Summit in April.  The results of the futurists summit were then kicked around for additional input and thought, culminating in the report that has been sent to the Prime Minister this week.  Unlike many of the discussion papers and media releases arguably intended to shape the perspectives of those attending the PM's Summit, this report was embargoed from public view until the Canberra Summit had commenced.

Running on the back of their highly successful 'FAQ's series, the National Geographic Channel commissioned a series to look at emerging technologies and their potential implications on our lives.  The first program went to air in May 2006 and looked at issues such as flying cars, robotics, the home of the future and smart technologies among  others with the second show pushing the boundaries of the future of Sex, Sleep and Death

'Future Matters' - TV Program from the National Geographic Channel

More Ideas Pieces, podcasts, and bits & pieces will be posted here from time to time

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Two Years on - Planning never ends
Thursday 31 March 2022
One of the great challenges with running any organisation is keeping it on track. Strateic Planning is not about fixed methods - it's about a focus on outcomes
High Risk Play for Australian Retailers Opening in a Covid19 Constrained Environment
Monday 11 October 2021
Interesting emerging dynamic about to land on the shop fronts of Australian retailers that pose serious risks to their staff. And few retailers are ready
Why Climate Change Intervention is WAY Easier than We Think
Tuesday 7 September 2021
You'll have seen, heard or read some of my thoughts on the lab grown proteins from firms like #ImpossibleFoods or #BeyondMeat. Now the food we eat is a direct climate change contributor and for anyone in those sectors, you need to play for the change that is most definitely coming